Written by John Killoran
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Mobile devices have become such an everyday part of our lives that it’s no longer possible not to consider them in your nonprofit strategy. If you want to position your nonprofit as forward-thinking, you need to take it a step further and make mobile giving more than an afterthought. After all, being innovative and bold is a management skill that can set your nonprofit apart from your competitors. 

To help you implement mobile giving at your nonprofit in a useful and effective way, we’ll be covering three main ways you can begin utilizing mobile giving: 

  1. Text-to-Give Fundraisers
  2. Mobile Bidding at Auctions
  3. Mobile-Friendly Donation Pages

Beyond creating a progressive image for your organization, mobile giving can be an essential part of improving your donor engagement strategy. Meeting your supporters where they are, which is often on their phones, helps you better capture their attention and makes it easier for them to engage with and support your organization. With these three ideas, you’ll be able to easily integrate mobile giving into your existing strategy. Let’s get started! 

1. Text-to-Give Fundraisers

Because 96% of Americans own cell phones, a fundraiser that utilizes the convenience of supporters’ own mobile devices can be very effective. While this method can be combined with other types of fundraisers, even just a simple fundraiser can help you meet your fundraising goals. With text-to-give, donors can donate from anywhere — the check-out line at the grocery store, the doctor’s office waiting room, the carpool at their kid’s school. The options are endless! 

Snowball’s text-to-give guide recommends following some of these best practices:

  • Focus on clear campaign messaging. Be specific about your goals and highlight why your cause is worth supporting. 
  • Promote your organization’s number and keyword. Include it in all of your communications in a way that is specific to that platform.
  • Input collected donor data into your CRM. Make sure to input donors’ names, phone numbers, email addresses, and billing addresses into your existing database.
  • Track and analyze your data. Measure text-giving frequency and average text donation size to help inform your future donation appeals.
  • Assign someone to be in charge of new donor data. Assign a staff member to take charge of the incoming data to keep it organized and make it easy to utilize in future campaigns.
  • Incorporate matching gifts. Your text-to-give campaign is the perfect opportunity to contact donors about matching gifts, because their text donation might be eligible for a match through their employer.

With the right amount of marketing and information to help your supporters understand how to submit mobile donations, a text-messaging-based campaign can be a great success. Consider creating social media graphics or sending out an email newsletter that illustrates how text-to-give works to help out your less tech-savvy supporters and increase their trust in mobile giving. 

2. Mobile Bidding at Auctions

Whether you’re hosting a live, hybrid, or virtual auction, mobile bidding can make your event significantly more efficient. With the right mobile giving software, you’ll be able to create a digital catalog for supporters to view during and before the auction. When they’re ready to bid, they’ll be able to do it right from their phone. If you’re running a silent auction, your donors will be notified if their mobile bid won. After winning, they’ll be able to check out from their phones as well, which also streamlines the payment and delivery process for auction items.

In fact, you can utilize mobile giving at any fundraising event. To make it easy for your donors to know how to donate, hang engaging flyers with your text-to-donate number and shortcode. If there is a screen at your event, display a slide with your text-to-give information. This prevents donors from needing to have their wallets on them at all times in order to donate and eliminates the lines that might form when donating with a credit card or check. 

3. Mobile-Friendly Donation Pages

Because many of your marketing materials are likely opened or interacted with on mobile devices, your donation page should always be mobile-friendly, even if you’re not currently utilizing text messaging for your fundraising. The last thing you want is for someone to open your donation link from your Instagram bio or your latest email newsletter on their phone and not be able to actually fill it out.

It’s crucial that your donation page be mobile-friendly for: 

  • Peer-to-peer campaigns. Encourage your volunteers to create their P2P pages like they normally would. Then, when they share their fundraising pages with their social networks, they can advertise your text-to-give number and shortcode.
  • Pledge fundraisers. Similar to standard peer-to-peer fundraisers, pledge-based fundraisers can benefit from the convenience of mobile giving. When a participant texts their friend asking for their support, they can directly send them a link to your donation page or your text-to-give number and shortcode for them to donate.
  • Anyone accessing your donation page on a mobile device. Even when you’re not actively running a campaign, you always want your donation page to be readily accessible from any device so that you don’t lose any potential donations. 

During a text-to-give campaign, it’s crucial that your website and donation page functions properly on mobile devices, but you also want to make sure that mobile giving is possible at all other times. 

Mobile giving is here to stay, and if you’re not already on board, now is the time to get started. This convenient method of giving makes it much easier for your donors to engage with your organization while managing their busy lives. Remember — it’s about meeting donors where they are. Mobile giving can be your ticket to increased engagement when done correctly. Take the time to not only get started implementing mobile giving but also familiarize yourself with best practices and educating your supporters on the safety and convenience of mobile donations. They’ll be thrilled to have such an easy way to support their favorite nonprofit organization! 

About the Author:

John Killoran is an inventor, entrepreneur, and the Chairman of Clover Leaf Solutions, a national lab services company. He currently leads Clover Leaf’s investment in Snowball Fundraising, an online fundraising platform for nonprofit organizations. 

Snowball was one of John’s first public innovations; it’s a fundraising platform that offers text-to-give, online giving, events, and peer-to-peer fundraising tools for nonprofits. By making giving simple, Snowball increases the donations that these organizations can raise online. The Snowball effect is real! John founded Snowball in 2011. Now, it serves over 7,000 nonprofits and is the #1 nonprofit fundraising platform.